Book by Book: My April 2018 Reads

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I spent this whole month thinking I had made my yearly reading goal 200 books and consequently feeling the pressure to read a ton... turns out it's only 150 and I'm actually on track! Phew. I still cranked out a ton of books this month (thanks to a few light reads and a few short ones!) and only one was by a white man (holla!).

HERE'S WHAT I READ IN APRIL:


Runny Babbit Returns: Another Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein

MY RATING: 3/5

MY REVIEW: If you (and/or your kiddos!) love billy sooks about runny babbits and thilly sings, you’ll love this one from #shelsilverstein! (I will confess: it drove me CRAZY that all the starting letters of words were switched around, but I know kids would find it hilarious!)

MY RECOMMENDATION: Perfect for kiddos with a great sense of humor and love of silly things.


Together We Rise: Behind the Scenes at the Protest Heard Around the World by The Women's March Organizers

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The Women's March has always fascinated me and inspired me (even though I admittedly—and regretfully— didn’t march) and this book was incredible. So much history told from such a wide variety of perspectives from all women and men involved in the coordinating, planning, and production of the massive worldwide event, and I was hooked on every word. The images are beautiful and so powerful! This one is more of a coffee table book, but it’s one I would love to have in my collection to revisit whenever I need a dose of hope and a reminder that women are unstoppable.

MY RECOMMENDATION: For feminists, and everyone who cares about politics and resistance and the current state of America, really.


Still Me by Jojo Moyes

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: It’s been months since I read a book cover to cover in one sitting, but this one was wonderful. I loved Me Before You, really didn’t like After You, and then loved Still Me and was so glad it redeemed the series. This is the Louisa Clark we know and love, and this is the fun, surprising, layered, and engaging writing we know from Jojo Moyes.

MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of Moyes, fans of female-focused stories, fans of quirky characters and sweet romances and New York City.


Something Borrowed and Something Blue by Emily Giffin

MY RATING: 3/5 for both

MY REVIEW: These two were the perfect light, fun, breezy reads for this busy week! (Even better is they cost 50 cents at the library book sale!) 

MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of chick flicks and rom coms and stories about BFFs+love triangles.


And It Was Good: Reflections on Beginnings by Madeleine L'Engle

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: And it WAS good. I’m still trying to figure out how I really feel about L'Engle— I was not a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time (I know, I know), but I did enjoy this one (even if her random, scattered writing style frustrated me at times) and found much of it resonating with me. This one is an interesting and introspective look at Genesis with many thoughts, retelling, and questions sprinkled throughout. It’s one I couldn’t rush through, but enjoyed coming back to in small doses over the last month.

MY RECOMMENDATION: For those who love camping out in a book about a chunk of Scripture and enjoy fictionalized retellings of classic Bible stories.


The Bright Hour: A Memoir of Living and Dying by Nina Riggs

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: This one was lovely. (And I didn’t end up weeping like I expected!) It's moving, meaningful, heartfelt, hopeful in the face of tragedy.

MY RECOMMENDATION: Fans of When Breath Becomes Air will love this one too.


Flight: Of Butterflies and Robins and Other Winged Dreams by Anne Poarch

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: Loved this one! Picked it up randomly at @fountainbookstore since it was an autographed copy, and I’m so glad I did. Read it cover to cover sitting outside in the spring sunshine today and it was perfect— moving, beautiful, focused on nature, and just lovely in every way.

MY RECOMMENDATION: For anyone who loves nature-centric poetry and getting lost in beautiful words.


Am I There Yet? The Loop-de-Loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood by Mari Andrew

MY RATING: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I adore Mari and this book was a delight. Her art, her heart, her whimsy, her words, her incredible way of illustrating the hard and beautiful and weird parts of life... she is a TALENT.

MY RECOMMENDATION: This book is one I want to buy for friends who get new jobs or quit bad ones, friends with new loves or recent breakups, friends who feel lost and friends who have found their way— it’s perfect.


Discovering Your Personality Type: The New Enneagram Questionnaire by Don Richard Riso

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: Loved taking this test though and thinking through ways I’m grown and integrated! I'm in the camp that recommends reading about the enneagram before just taking the test, but it was great to confirm again that I'm OVERWHELMINGLY a One. Nobody is surprised.

MY RECOMMENDATION: If you're unsure about what the Enneagram is or where to start, this questionnaire is a great starting point!


Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions by Rachel Held Evans

MY RATING: 2/5

MY REVIEW: Finished this one last night (hello, spring weather and sunlight until 8 pm!) and honestly wasn’t as crazy about it as i thought i would be. I LOVE Rachel Held Evans and read Searching for Sunday at the perfect time in my life, but I think this one was just a case of good book but wrong time.

MY RECOMMENDATION: If you’re feeling your faith start to unravel or you’re wrestling with big questions and doubts, grab this one for sure!


The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New by Annie Dillard

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I loved this book. I love Annie Dillard (have since reading An American Childhood in high school and enjoying it even when no one else did!). This is a great place to start with her books, since these essays pull from her various books. Such great weekend reading. 

MY RECOMMENDATION: Fans of essays, rich writing, nature, details, and soaking up the beauty of words and thought on a variety of topics.


Lucky You by Erika Carter

MY RATING: 1/5

MY REVIEW: Okay, I stuck it out through the end of this one.... but you guys, I don’t get it. I didn’t like it. I didn’t find a single thing about any character to be redeeming or interesting. I was perplexed by their bizarre life choices and concerned for them and overall just lost at to what the point was in this book... If anybody liked this one, tell me why?!?? (Cool to see it was written by a local Richmond author though!)

MY RECOMMENDATION: Uh... fans of slightly dark and depressing and overall uninteresting stories? I don't even know.


The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country by Helen Russell

MY RATING: 4/5

MY REVIEW: Anyone else a HUGE fan of the concept of hygge? I definitely am. This book was such a great (and thorough!) look at real life in Denmark, as Helen and her husband moved there for a year and immersed themselves fully in the culture. I found it fascinating, really honest and transparent (which some books about hygge really aren’t), and I loved her relatable writing style.

MY RECOMMENDATION: If you’re at all intrigued by Danish culture and life in Europe, grab this one!


Can't Nothing Bring Me Down: Chasing Against Myself in the Race against Time by Ida Keeling

MY RATING: 3/5

MY REVIEW: Ida Keeling amazes me. I had never heard of her before, but I’m so glad I read this memoir/autobiography from her— her life was filled with challenges and grief and obstacles to overcome, yet here she is at over 100 years old chasing her passion of running (and setting records doing it)! This was a fun one to read and it gave me such great insight into what it was like for a Black woman to grow up over the last 100 years, facing opposition and resistance on so many fronts, yet constantly overcoming. So uplifting!

MY RECOMMENDATION: For fans of inspirational stories and running!

THANKS TO: BookLook Bloggers


Kid Lit:


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